Engineering took a terrifying turn at Pack Expo in Chicago on Halloween, as the pneumatic equipment supplier Bimba Manufacturing Co. demonstrated the air-powered Scary Guy for some of the show's 46,000 attendees.
Meet the Scary Guy. (Source: Design News)
The Scary Guy is an animatronic figure built by the Scare Factory. Bimba supplied components for electronic controls, air cylinders, valves, fittings, and filters to enable the figure to move its upper body independently. Bimba engineers said the pneumatic bill of materials for the Scary Guy amounted to less than $300.
Haunted houses (HH) are big business. I calculated once, based on the supposed attendance of a local HH, that a typical attraction could rake in about $400,000 a season. Good HHs sell tickets for $20-30 these days too, so perhaps my number is a little low.
I tried to talk my engineering friends into building one, but they were scared to try. Pun intended.
There's good news and bad news regarding the sub-systems of today's late-model vehicles. The good news is that new engines and transmissions are more trouble-free than in the past. The bad news is that the infotainment and DVD players are still prone to be "buggy."
For decades, the corporate path to the chief executive's office has often passed through engineering. Automotive, computer, electronics, and oil companies have frequently drawn their leaders from the engineering ranks.
The Texas Motor Speedway has flipped the switch on a high-definition video board that uses 14 million LEDs, weighs more than 200,000 pounds, and is 80% larger than the Dallas Cowboys' world-renowned scoreboard.
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